President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are not getting along.
Our key ally and trading partner to the north is trying to figure out why Trump’s administration is arguing “national security” to justify placing harmful tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, a measure never taken before by an American president.
The two leaders held a very “testy” phone call according to CNN, which led to President Trump flubbing a key part of American history in order to explain why he did what he did. Well, in part.
When Trudeau really pressed him on the issue of the tariffs, Trump quipped back:
“Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812.
FYI: It was the British that burned down the White House during the War of 1812.
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) June 6, 2018
The War of 1812 is trending proving once again that 2018 is insane.
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) June 6, 2018
Currently, the White House isn’t commenting on the ordeal, so we don’t yet have a denial yet from the Donald – we’re just going to have to go on the word of the “sources” that spoke to CNN who were familiar with the discussion. But, it does seem like something Trump would say.
To make this exchange even more newsworthy, Trudeau went on the offensive in the American media against Trump, granting an exclusive interview with “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, in which he used the opportunity to criticize Trump for the tariffs. He didn’t use any small words, either.
Trudeau said imposing new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in order to protect American national security interests was a bold-faced lie. Truth be told, there are already legal protections built in for this, no tariff was needed.
“Our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches of World War II…and the mountains of Afghanistan, and have stood shoulder to shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world, that are always there for each other, somehow — this is insulting to them,” Trudeau said in an exclusive interview with “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd.
“The idea that the Canadian steel that’s in military, military vehicles in the United States, the Canadian aluminum that makes your, your fighter jets is somehow now a threat?” he continued in the interview, which took place in Trudeau’s office in Parliament in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. “The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.”
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland described it as “the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the post-war era.”
Trudeau also dismissed the notion that the United States was being subjected to unfair trade deals:
“He’s worried about trade surpluses, trade deficits around the world. Well, they have a $2 billion surplus on steel with us. So it’s not like the trade is imbalanced against the U.S. favor on this one,” Trudeau said.
Here’s the entire interview he gave that was released on Sunday. In the interview he directly addresses the trade issue with Trump, tackling it head on.